College students use legos to build robots at John C. Stennis Space Center

PEARLINGTON, Miss. -- Most people are familiar with legos. While they are popular for playing with, there's a group from NASA Community Aerospace that competed for a Rover Robotic Competition at John C. Stennis Space Center using Legos.

In four days, 42 college students from around the country had to build a robot for a competition.

The winner of the competition received a fictitious NASA contract for designing the most reliable and cost-efficient Mars rover prototype. Using input from NASA subject matter experts and mentors, the students used the engineering design process to create a mock proposal, including a production budget and other documents, for the contract.

As part of their proposal, each team designed and built a robotic prototype of its rover to compete in completing mock missions on a simulated Mars terrain.

The activities are designed to provide students with a firsthand experience using the engineering design process, practice team management skills and gain valuable experience and insight into the competitive process of NASA and contracts.

Students also participated in a resume-writing workshop during the four-day workshop to provide them with a competitive edge when applying for internships.